An article in the Wall Street Journal points to an announcement coming from Spotify next week, that they will offer FREE ad supported streaming. "The Journal reports that Spotify has been negotiating for nearly a year to get new mobile streaming rights, and it finally has the blessing of Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group, and Warner Music Group. The rights holders and Spotify not only had to agree on rates but on how the music could be used.
The way things turned out, users who listen to Spotify for free will be able to stream only a limited number of songs to mobile devices on demand (the limitation has not yet been specified). The bread and butter of mobile service will still be radio-style service, a la Pandora or iTunes Radio.
Currently, any usage of Spotify’s mobile app is a privilege of the company’s $10/month subscription. Spotify recently showed that it makes significantly more money off its subscribers than ad-supported users, so chipping away at subscriber perks appears to be an odd move. However, the Journalsuggests that a broader base of mobile listeners stands to “supply the labels [that own a stake in Spotify] with significant ad revenue.” After this announcement, the ability to store music offline in Spotify’s mobile app will remain a subscriber-only feature."